A cowardly gunman who targeted two lone women – snatching a handbag and bank cards – has been locked up for eight years.
Kieron Rowe, 26, of The Broadway, Wimbledon pleaded guilty to both armed robberies when he appeared at Kingston-upon-Thames Crown Court.
At 6.30pm on July 26 last year a woman in her late forties, walking back to her home in Tooting, was approached by Rowe.
He walked past her then turned round and, from only a foot away, pointed a handgun directly at her head.
He pushed the victim against some bushes and when she screamed he threatened to shoot her if she did not keep quiet.
Rowe demanded her handbag and snatched it from her arm and then made off.
Two days later at 11.30pm a 30-year-old woman was walking from Tooting Broadway Station and heard the sound of a pedal cycle approaching from behind.
Rowe was on this bike and he rode past the woman he stopped and turned, pointing his handgun at her chest and demanding her bag.
However, the victim did not have any cash, so Rowe told her to give him her bank cards.
He took the cards and then also demanded her PIN, which the victim gave him.
Rowe told the victim she would have to come with him to the cash point, but as he walked back to his bike the victim used the opportunity to run.
It was later found that £700 was taken from the victim’s account before the cards could be cancelled.
Detectives from Wandsworth CID had soon linked the crimes and established the same person was responsible.
One possible lead, was that the second victim told police the bike the robber was using had a basket on the front.
What Rowe did not know, was that a Police Community Support Officer had seen Rowe using this bike months before and recorded the information.
Rowe matched the description of the gunman and he became a prime suspect.
He was arrested for both offences, but denied any involvement in the crimes.
However, both of the victims were able to pick him out as the person responsible at an identity parade.
Detective Constable Aled Thomas of Wandsworth CID, said: “This man terrified two women with a handgun for his own selfish gain.
“The long sentence he received is totally justified and should warn others of the consequences of gun crime.
“I would like to thank both victims; it was only with their cooperation that we could bring this man to justice.
“I would also like to thank our PCSO colleague, whose vigilance helped us swiftly identify Rowe as the person responsible.”